Wildfires in forests down by 2% in month yr/yr

April 24, 2023 - 16:26

TEHRAN – Wildfires in forests across the country have decreased by two percent in the first month of the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 21) compared to the year before.

In recent years, the number of forest fires has decreased, Hassan Akbari, deputy head of the Department of Environment, said, ISNA reported.

“Many measures have been taken to prevent and control fires, and as a result of these measures, we have reduced the extent of fires by two percent compared to last year.”

“Since the beginning of this year, we have had 29 fires that were very small and were extinguished immediately. The fires in this year have decreased by 2 percent in terms of area and 17 in terms of number in the mentioned period,” he noted.

In order to protect the country's environment well, the number of rangers should increase by 10 times, Akbari said in 2022.

In the country, there is currently one environmental protection force for every 30,000 to 40,000 hectares of protected areas, while usually there should be one force for 1,000 to 3,000 hectares, so to preserve our biological assets, we must take steps to recruit more rangers.

“Currently, 3,600 rangers are in charge of defending the protected areas, and the number should reach at least 8,000. There are over 600 [environment protection] stations in the country, 100 of which are inactive due to the lack of manpower.”

In September 2021, Jamshid Mohabbat-Khani, commander of the protection unit of the Department of Environment, said that the DOE has recruited 500 rangers over the past two years to enhance environmental protection, Mehr reported.

It is planned to hire 2,500 rangers for the environment departments in 10 years, he added.

Forest sustainable management and their use of resources are key to combating climate change, and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations.

Forests also play a crucial role in poverty alleviation and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Yet despite all these priceless ecological, economic, social, and health benefits, forests are endangered by fires, pests, droughts, and unprecedented deforestation.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The theme for 2023 was "Forests and Health.”

Countries are encouraged to undertake local, national, and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.

Jungles constitute 8.8 percent of Iran’s total area.


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